Editor’s note: This letter was sent to the federal ag minister and several producer groups earlier this month. We are writing to request your support for the creation of a new producer-driven national farm organization that would work to solidify marketing systems for grains, oilseeds, pulses and special crops. While it is widely agreed that… Read More

It’s positively refreshing to see a discussion on the plight of threatened grasslands, world hunger and political unrest have a tangible, though only partial, solution. What’s more, livestock production has been criticized by environmentalists as too water intensive and hard on delicate ecosystems to be sustainable. A recent presentation, however, is turning this notion on… Read More

I’m not a big markets person. I know, I know, it’s agriculture, how could I not be into markets? I have a basic understanding of charts and outlooks, of course, but by my heart is in the soil, plants and animals — the futures market is rather Greek to me. Still, it’s difficult to attend… Read More

FarmOn.com, an Alberta organization focused on connecting young farmers with resources, information and people to help them get started or continue farming, is launching the #farmvoices movement on April 22, 2013. Also celebrated that day is Earth Day, a fitting day, says board member and farmer Sarah Wray, as farmers are one of the largest… Read More

Farm safety took on a new meaning for me when I first met Alberta farmer Cliff Breitkreuz Jr., on his meticulously kept farm near Onoway. That’s going back a few years. Cliff had typed me a letter (on a manual typewriter) and then surface mailed it, inviting me to his farm to talk about politics… Read More

Is there such thing as a perfect farm? If so, what does it look like? Is it a fixed size? Is it highly specialized, or incredibly diverse? The perfect farm is a concept that Gary Martens, instructor with the department of plant science at the University of Manitoba, brought up to me some time ago… Read More

Take it for what it’s worth (a relatively arbitrary list from The Daily Meal), but a recent who’s who of food puts farmers at the bottom of the list when it comes to who influences how and what we eat. The Daily Meal launched its “50 Most Powerful People in Food” list recently, ranking individuals… Read More

No doubt many farmers, if asked, would tell you that it’s the lifestyle that drew them to farming. That group would also tell you that you have to work hard in order to keep that lifestyle. That means treating your farm like any other business which means long hours away from the family at times,… Read More

It’s been nearly seven months since the Canadian Wheat Board became CWB — a pooling-focused wheat, barley and even canola marketing company operating in an open market. High cash prices since last fall had some expecting the pooling option wouldn’t be very popular, but as Ian White, CEO of CWB explains CWB isn’t just about… Read More

Almost 10 years ago, Canada got its global butt kicked when news broke about a lone case of BSE in Alberta.  Naysayers everywhere – competitors and anti-corporate activists, among them — were lurking in the weeds, waiting for an opportunity to discredit our food system. The agriculture minister at the time, Lyle Vanclief, tried hard… Read More

Today, I have far more questions than answers.  At FarmTech, I spoke with one farmer about the Alberta Wheat Commission — its proposed role, its goals, who was involved. It all sounded on the up-and-up and very noble, though I got the sense I had heard the speech before. Before that, in Saskatchewan, I spoke… Read More

When should you start succession planning? The earlier the better, says farm succession expert Len Davies. In the second episode of the Agricultural Management Institute’s (AMI) new farm succession video series, Davies takes us to the Veenstra family farm near Port Colborne, Ontario. Here we meet Andy Veenstra who shares succession tips and strategies he used… Read More

 

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